Thursday, July 6, 2017

When (and how) to use a waiver account for filing fees.

The e-filing system allows you to pay filing fees either through a credit card or a waiver account. You probably already have a credit card on file, but may not have a waiver account set up yet.

Here's why you might want to set up a waiver account:

  1. You represent a government agency that is exempt from filing fees. One example we've come across is an attorney that represents several school districts and regularly has to file small claims cases for textbook fees. 
  2. Your client is indigent and you believe that the court will grant a fee waiver to your client. The local rules on this may vary, so check with your court, but in general, most courts advise that for an initial filing that includes a motion to waive filing fees, you should use a waiver account. If the motion is denied, you will simply have to pay the fees at that time. (This approach stems from the practical acknowledgment that in government accounting systems, it's much easier to collect money later than go through the refund process for fees collected in error.)
  3. You are filing a case type that usually requires a fee, but due to your client's circumstance, no fee is required. For example, most expungement (XP) cases require a filing fee, but if your client is petitioning for the removal of a juvenile arrest record that did not result in a conviction under IC 35-38-9-1, the court may not charge a filing fee. The e-filing system will assess fees based on the more common use of this case type, and to avoid being charged, you should file using a waiver account.
Before doing any of the filings described above, you should prepare by setting up a waiver account. That's very easy:
  1. Click on the "e-filing" tab and then select "E-Filing Account Administration" from the actions listed on the left side of the page.
  2. Click on the "New Payment Account" button in the upper right of your account information:
  3. Give the account any name you choose, then select "Waiver" from the Account Type drop-down menu and save.
  4. The Waiver account will now appear in the drop-down list of available payment methods whenever you file:


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